The House Democrats’ scramble to impeach President Donald Trump is becoming like the gold rush of the 1850s. The gold is electoral victory in 2020.
Their strategy is to “impeach the motherf*cker” and “turn the page.” They have set a Christmas deadline to get the job done and drive the getaway car, leaving Trump lying in the dust covered in skid marks.
They view the leader of the free world like an annoying piece of gum stuck on the bottom of their shoes. Such is the utter contempt and disdain that they have shown for Trump, his voters and the hallowed chamber of the House of Representatives. All that matters is the execution of their vendetta against their enemy.
They view impeachment as the culmination of a long, arduous road, searching for a suitable crime for which they could administer punishment to a president who has dared to insult the media and uproot the corrupt Washington establishment. Impeachment will be the cruelest cut of all.
Their grand case for a historic vote to remove Trump is based on a nonsensical claim that he held back aid to Ukraine in the hope its leader would investigate Joe Biden, the former US vice president who is seeking the White House in 2020. Their claim amounts to a challenge to the president’s authority granted under the Constitution to conduct foreign policy.
Sadly impeachment may not bring them the satisfaction they have been searching for, especially if there is no Senate conviction. The quest to find crimes will continue. The extremists among them will not rest until the president is behind bars, along with as many people in his inner circle as they can target.
This is a coup. The perpetrators are hollow and soulless. Their greatest desire is to vanquish and destroy their political enemies. The upcoming election, for them, is not a contest of ideas, it is a political war that they must win at all cost.
They want all the spoils that will come from impeachment: a weak, tarnished leader who will be thrown on the scrap heap of history along with other leaders of disrepute. They want Trump to join the line up alongside besmirched names like former presidents Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton.
For the third time in almost 46 years, the House of Representatives has voted to begin a formal impeachment inquiry into the actions of the sitting president. Democrats are rejoicing in the fervent belief Trump deserves to be added to America’s impeachment hall of fame.
Time Magazine’s Chris Wilson wrote in October:
“The impeachment bassline has been thumping since the day Trump took office. With the long prelude now over, we’re in an indeterminate period of legal brinkmanship and parliamentary chess. This will inevitably draw attention away from the Democratic nomination and early forecasting for the general election for some duration, keeping Trump in an even brighter spotlight than usual. How long the prospect of impeachment and trial loom will dramatically reshape the political terrain in 2020.”
They hope a quickie impeachment will spare them the political damage that their perilous political strategy could bring. Nixon’s impeachment inquiry was authorized on February 6, 1974 and lasted more than six months until he resigned before Congress could vote on whether to proceed.
An inquiry was authorized for Clinton on Oct. 8, 1998 and ran for 73 days until he was impeached on Dec. 19, 1998 — just over two months. Only two presidents have been impeached: Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1998. Both were acquitted.
CBS News legal analyst Jonathan Turley said Monday, “The greatest difference is that there has been very little evidentiary work that has been done.” He argued that “Democrats are going from zero to 60 in about 100 feet.”
Turley also viewed the Ukraine corruption allegations against Trump as lightweight in comparison to the indictments against Nixon, noting “it will be the narrowest impeachment in history, and they will have one of the most limited evidentiary records in history.”
CBS News chief Washington correspondent Major Garrett said Tuesday, “Speed matters. If you move too quickly and the public cannot catch up with the facts you’re presenting, you lose, at least you lose in terms of public opinion being moved by the evidence you present the public.
“Also, Democrats have a high standard to meet here. Impeachment is not ‘I dislike the president’; it means the president has done something, or will continue to do something, that’s a threat to the administration of the office as we understand it. That’s a high bar.
“The evidence has to be presented, the public has to see it and evaluate it, before you can move. Democrats at this pace seem to be moving that process much more rapidly than at least previous impeachments have,” said Garrett.
The members of the House of Representatives are running for reelection at the same time as the president. Polls show that in six critical 2020 swing states, Trump is running more competitively against the Democrats’ potential nominees than they expected—especially against Warren and Sanders. In these states opposition to impeachment and removal was, on average, 8 points higher than support for it.
Democrats are also engaged in an uphill battle to win back the Senate majority. Only a handful of senators are running for re-election. Those in red states, like Doug Jones in Alabama, could face a backlash if they vote to remove a popular president. If the impeachment trial is seen as too partisan, unfair or an overreach, it could threaten their efforts to topple incumbents in places like Iowa and North Carolina. A Senate trial would also take their candidates like Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders off the trail for a critical and extended period of time.
The irony of it all is that the election is now only a year away. If Democrats really believe that Trump is such a corrupt monster all they have to do is present their case on the election trail. They just don’t think voters are smart enough to make an intelligent decision, so the omniscient Democrats will have to act on their behalf before time runs out.